Tuesday, October 4 2022

Special to Yahoo Sports

There’s nothing more convenient than having a couple of stars get sidelined right in the middle of a weekly fantasy playoff matchup. And one in which most of the breaks need to go your way to advance.

I mean, a little heads up would’ve been nice. Welp, there’s always next season.

For those who haven’t given up hope, head to RotoWire for the latest puck news and in-depth material.

We’re back with more extremely helpful waiver recommendations.

(Rostered rates/stats as of April 7.)

Forwards

Jean-Gabriel Pageau, NYI (Yahoo: 28%)

When thinking of top scorers, Pageau isn’t one that immediately jumps to mind. But if we’re talking about the last six weeks, he’s been on fire with 19 points to go with 32 shots, 48 hits and 202 faceoff wins. In addition to a hefty shorthanded spot, Pageau has also been a regular on the Isles’ first power play and has posted three goals and three assists there. There’s the expectation the club won’t continue to keep producing big score lines, but you can’t take a chance and miss on a solid multi-category performer like Pageau.

Erik Haula, BOS (Yahoo: 23%)

Haula was first included in this space in mid-January after David Pastrnak was swapped to Boston’s second line. He’s still centering the star winger and is in the middle of a heater with five goals, six assists, 15 shots and 71 FW in eight games. Pastrnak’s status is uncertain for upcoming matchups and that might put a dent in Haula’s progress, but the Finn still skates within the top-six and Taylor Hall hasn’t been too shabby on the other side.

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Alex Tuch, BUF (Yahoo: 20%)

Top even-strength, top power play, top penalty kill. Seven points and 20 shots in nine games. So why is Tuch available in four of every five Yahoo leagues? Perhaps poolies are being scared away by him playing in Buffalo.

Pfft. C’mon, let’s not forget the scorching run over most of January and February when Tuch averaged more than a point per game. He’s also decent enough with the peripherals and logs major minutes. Just add Tuch.

Alex Tuch #89 of the Buffalo Sabres is a top fantasy hockey pickupAlex Tuch #89 of the Buffalo Sabres is a top fantasy hockey pickup

Alex Tuch should not be available in so many fantasy hockey leagues. (Photo by Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images)

Mathieu Joseph, OTT (Yahoo: 14%)

Some thought Tampa Bay might have made a mistake when they dealt Joseph in the Nick Paul trade. He wasn’t going to receive a lot of ice time with the Bolts and the organization probably couldn’t retain him for next year, yet it still must sting to see someone immediately click in new surroundings. Joseph only registered an assist from his first four outings in Ottawa but has gone off for three goals — all against Detroit on Friday — and six helpers from the last three. Guess skating with Brady Tkachuk and Josh Norris on five-on-five helps.

Seth Jarvis, CAR (Yahoo: 7%)

Jarvis has bounced around the Carolina depth chart all season and is currently back with Sebastian Aho and Teuvo Teravainen at even-strength. He can also be found on the second power play where he’s recorded five PPPs. The minutes might be on the low side, but Jarvis has been able to notch eight points, 18 shots and 17 hits in his last 10 games. There’s a chance he slides back down the lineup, though that doesn’t really matter with how stacked the Canes are up front.

Jordan Greenway, MIN (Yahoo: 5%)

Back in December, Greenway was mentioned in this column along with Marcus Foligno as candidates to join Minnesota’s man-advantage due to their size and decent hands. And now it’s finally happened for both as a result of Matthew Boldy‘s injury. That placement may not last for Greenway, but he’s still getting it done with three assists Sunday and seven points, 41 shots and 27 hits in 12 games.

Filip Zadina, DET (Yahoo: 2%)

The scoring hasn’t come anywhere close to matching his skill level, the responsibilities have generally decreased and that minus-28 is horrific, yet Zadina is back in the fantasy conversation by returning to Detroit’s top power play. Granted, he hasn’t actually done anything with that since the promotion, but it’s encouraging. Zadina’s place on the Wings’ second unit is also a favorable sign, so maybe these boosts will help jumpstart his production.

Nick Ritchie, ARI (Yahoo: 2%)

Things didn’t really work out for Ritchie with the Leafs after signing last summer, and he was ultimately shipped to the desert in February. Since joining the Yotes, the power forward has tallied a respectable eight goals, three assists, 18 PIM, 31 shots and 54 hits. With Arizona battling it out with Montreal and Seattle for last in the league and carrying a slew of injuries, expect Ritchie to maintain a significant spot.

Defensemen

Gustav Forsling, FLA (Yahoo: 25%)

Aaron Ekblad‘s loss has provided an uptick for most of the other Florida blueliners. Forsling’s minutes haven’t necessarily changed the last couple of weeks, yet he’s been more involved in the attack with six points and a whopping 27 shots. He even potted a pair of goals Saturday in Jersey, including the OT winner. Forsling’s latest surge shouldn’t come as a total shock considering his 30 points on the season. And a place alongside workhorse MacKenzie Weegar should at least allow him to receive enough offensive opportunities.

Bowen Byram, COL (Yahoo: 21%)

A head injury kept Byram out for almost three months. He returned Tuesday and logged 15:02 while firing two pucks on net and dishing out three hits. The fourth selection from 2019 will probably be eased back into a full workload but offers significant upside based on his junior numbers while producing five goals and six assists from only 19 games this year. Byram did feature on the Avs’ second power play Tuesday, though he could lose that role when Samuel Girard comes back from his own extended absence.

Jordan Spence, LA (Yahoo: 1%)

Sean Durzi was brought up again last week for his enhanced position among the Kings’ D with Drew Doughty still on IR and the same goes — albeit to a lesser extent — to Spence. The Australian-born defender was promoted in January after racking up 42 AHL points and has logged significant ice time with LA. He quarterbacks the backup man-advantage and has picked up two PPAs there. Spence is also efficient at contributing to other categories with 15 shots, 17 hits and 10 blocks in nine games.

Mattias Samuelsson, BUF (Yahoo: 1%)

Like Spence, Samuelsson has turned in an impressive showing in the minors to earn a January call-up. And also similar to his positional compatriot, the USNTDP alum hasn’t looked out of place in the NHL, having registered five assists, 14 hits and 13 blocks in seven games. Samuelsson is already being entrusted to defend opposing top lines and has even managed a plus-8 from the last 12. As he’s already entrenched in the Sabres’ lineup, he’s good enough as a flyer on your roster.

Goaltenders

James Reimer, SJ (Yahoo: 41%)

Reimer was originally featured in November and was included as a midseason Waiver All-Star, but soon slipped with a 3.66 GAA and .899 save percentage in the next 18 appearances that concluded with a two-week stint on the sidelines. Since returning on March 15, he’s looked more like his dominant self from earlier in the year with a 2.36/.913 line. Kaapo Kahkonen was expected to provide competition for the top job after arriving from Minnesota, yet he’s struggled so far, allowing 12 goals in three starts, including getting pulled early against Dallas on Saturday.

Mike Smith, EDM (Yahoo: 39%)

Sometimes you have to take advantage of your chances when they come, and Smith has done just that lately. Mikko Koskinen has clearly operated as Edmonton’s No. 1 in net, but his momentum was halted by an illness last week. In the three subsequent games, Smith has filled in and won all of them while stopping 93 of 100 shots. Koskinen is back and will surely take on more starts, though the team may ride the hot hand and continue going with Smith.

(Players to consider from past columns: Nazem Kadri, Joel Eriksson Ek, Nick Schmaltz, Dylan Strome, Oliver Bjorkstrand, Tim Stutzle, Nico Hischier, Robert Thomas, Brock Nelson, Lucas Raymond, Valeri Nichushkin, Michael Bunting, Kailer Yamamoto, Ryan Hartman, Andrew Copp, Mikael Granlund, Ryan Johansen, Tyler Toffoli, Jesper Bratt, Taylor Raddysh, Alexander Barabanov, Kevin Hayes, Cole Caufield, Andrew Mangiapane, Jakub Voracek, Mason Marchment, Victor Olofsson, Rickard Rakell, Anthony Cirelli, Chandler Stephenson, Trevor Zegras, Jack Roslovic, Tage Thompson, Ivan Barbashev, Josh Norris, Jake DeBrusk, Boone Jenner, Troy Terry, Matt Duchene, Yegor Sharangovich, Evan Bouchard, Jared Spurgeon, Damon Severson, Noah Hanifin, Noah Dobson, Nick Leddy, Shayne Gostisbehere, Vince Dunn, Moritz Seider, Rasmus Andersson, Josh Morrissey, Ryan Pulock, Cam Fowler, Erik Brannstrom, Sean Durzi, Ville Husso, Logan Thompson, Jonathan Quick, Jake Oettinger, Anton Forsberg, Cal Petersen, Spencer Knight, Antti Raanta)

Source: Yahoo Sports

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